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The Mask of the ProphetThe Extraordinary Fictions of Jules Verne$
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Andrew Martin

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198157984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198157984.001.0001

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Subversion Subverted

Subversion Subverted

Chapter:
(p.78) 4 Subversion Subverted
Source:
The Mask of the Prophet
Author(s):

Andrew Martin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198157984.003.0004

This chapter discusses political rebellion in the Mediterranean through Verne's Mathias Sandorf. It argues that the logic of empire contains the seeds of subversion, which, with the advance of time, would bear fruit. According to Verne, there are two Mediterraneans, the Old and the New. Just as there are two Mediterraneans, so in Mathias Sandorf there are two Sandorfs. Political rebellion is mirrored psychologically in the recurrent theme of self-control. This chapter also examines the character of Nemo in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Nemo puts himself radically outside society and beyond the law by shoving off from the land. The sea is initially represented by Nemo not just as the antithesis of dry land, but as an alternative to the tyranny that pervades the earth, an empire free-zone.

Keywords:   political rebellion, Mediterranean, Mathias Sandorf, empire, subversion, Nemo, Twenty Thousand Leagues

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